Who needs the Boater Education Card?

You need education if you are at least 12 years old.

There is no minimum age requirement to take this online course.

You do not have to be a resident of Alabama to take this online course.


The certification is not required for operators who:

  • Have a valid U.S. Coast Guard Motorboat Operator’s License or…
  • Submit a valid certificate of successful completion of an ALEA Marine Police Division–approved safe boating course, or a course offered by U.S. Power Squadrons, or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or…
  • Were 40 years old or older as of April 28, 1994.

Even if not required by law to get the Alabama boating license, many boaters take the boat safety course in order to save on their PWC or boat insurance.

You Must Carry the Card

Vessel operators who are required to have the Alabama Boater Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer. Not carrying your Alabama Boater Card when it is required can result in a fine.


For visiting boaters, all states, territories, and provinces will recognize boating education cards that meet NASBLA requirements and Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Cards that meet Transport Canada’s requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity.”)

I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the Alabama Boater Education Certificate?

Yes. You are not required to have a state driver’s license in order to obtain a Boater Education Card.

Other Questions

For these and other questions about your boating card, please check our FAQs.

How do I get a card?

How do I get a replacement card?

Need help? Here are the answers to the questions Alabama Boating students most frequently ask.

Alabama Frequently Asked Questions